Not all property division in divorce is as simple as valuating and making a fair split. You may reasonably expect some assets to fall in value, some to rise and some to have other complications not pursuant to market behavior.
Each class of asset requires a specific approach. Here are some examples of the most frequently problematic.
1. Stock options
Stock options are a complex form of employment compensation. When it comes to asset division during divorce, multiple elements of this complexity could have a bearing on who gets what. For example, options granted as incentive to join a company before marriage might be different than retention compensation.
2. Art collections
Art is notable for its exceptional risk as an investment. Furthermore, collections are often highly personal — sometimes even the result of a shared interest between you and your spouse. Careful negotiation and forward-thinking valuation often benefit both parties.
3. Business interests
Businesses are valuable, but often only in the right hands. It typically makes more sense for the spouse with more involvement to retain ownership. In the case of spouse-run businesses, you may need a new contract to take the place of the protections your marriage provided.
4. Real estate
If you have real estate interests beyond the family home, liquidation and division may not be the best strategy. There are many possible arrangements based on your use of the property: as speculation, a vacation home, agricultural, rental and so on.
Your divorce agreement should serve your best interests, but it should have as little of an impact as possible on your portfolio. Please consider the complexities of each individual asset in order to achieve the best possible outcome.